How to Entertain an Indoor Cat
Keeping indoor cats happy is something that is not really very difficult at all with a little bit of effort. The advantages of keeping your cat as an indoor cat only were discussed in an earlier article, not allowing your pet cat to roam free will keep her safe from risk of injury such as a traffic accident. You will also be far less likely to lose your indoor cat and the risk of her being stolen is reduced dramatically.
There are, however, a new set of challenges arises when you decide to keep your cat indoors. Cats that are kept indoors need a lot of thought putting into their stimulation to keep them happy, healthy and stress-free. Keeping your indoor cat happy and stimulated does not need to be expensive. There are some simple and inexpensive solutions to keeping your indoor cat entertained
Keeping Indoor Cats Happy on a Budget
- When you have finished with your cardboard egg cartons pop a treat in each of the sections and put it down for your cat to ‘fish’ the treats out. Your indoor cat will love this game! It can take a very long time for your cat to get the treats out and gives them something to think about. Of course you are always going to get the smart ones that just tip the carton over but most of the time they will sit trying to shove their ‘slightly-too-fat’ paws into the gaps!
- Always rotate your cats toys as this will keep them exciting! Only bring the best toys out for a short time each day so that they don’t lose their appeal. Toys that are left out all day long and night quickly lose their appeal and become boring.
- From time to time try this method of giving your indoor cat her meal. Hide her dry food all over a room in your house. Sit back, relax and watch her spend time searching high and low, on things and under things until she is sure she has found it all! If your indoor cat doesn’t catch on first time point her in the right direction – after a few tries she will be an expert! This method of entertainment only works if your cat has quite a good appetite.
- Keep hold of your paper bags and cut off the handles. These can be exciting play thing for your pet cat! Rustle the bag about and watch her jump into it and pounce on it. Put some toys inside the bag and watch as she dives in and captures her prey!
- Scrunch up a piece of paper with a treat inside – watch as she rips apart her ‘prey’. My cats love to play with scrunched up foil even when there are no treats inside. There is no need to spend a fortune on expensive gadgets. Your cats will happily play with cardboard boxes and mine have been known to steal sweet wrappers! This is not that funny, particularly when the sweets are still inside!
- Many cats love to play fetch! Teaching your indoor cat to play fetch is relatively easy. Throw your cat’s toys to the other side of the room so that your pet cat feels stimulated by the fast movement. She should chase the toy and probably pick it up and throw it about. When she picks it up encourage her to bring it back. When she does praise her and throw the toy again. Many oriental breeds thoroughly enjoy this game and it is really easy to teach a kitten to play.
- If you have stairs in your house then try throwing a ping-pong ball up the stairs for your cat to chase up and down. Please remember to remove the ping-pong ball when you have finished playing with it! I will not be held responsible for any broken limbs that may occur if you leave it!
Providing your indoor cat with everything she needs means so much more than just a clean litter tray, good food and fresh water; playing with her and keeping her stimulated is vital to her health and well being. I cannot stress the value of play in an indoor cat’s life. Just half an hour a day will help with keeping your indoor cat happy and help you bond with each other.
Spend Some Time Together Outdoors
If possible try to spend at least some time outside with your indoor cat. When she is a kitten you could teach her how to walk on a lead and then you can take her for a stroll around the garden. If you are a little worried about what your neighbours might think of you if they see you taking the cat for a walk, then consider cat-proofing your garden or consider building a cat run.
Having a safe outdoor space for your cat can really enrich her life and prevent her from becoming bored with her environment. Keeping indoor cats happy is not as easy as just opening the back door and letting then out. A lot of thought and time has to go into enriching your pet cat’s life. But it is worth it. Knowing that she is safe and happy and that the risk of a huge vet bill is decreased makes it all worth while.
I would be really interested in hearing from anyone who has any tips on how they keep their cat entertained, please use the comments section below.
This article was originally published on the popular Siamese Cat Breeder Blog. As the article is equally relevant to any breed of cat we decided to publish it here on UK Cat Breeder.